Cooks Deputy Prime Minister replaced, prompting a walkout

Sir Terepai Maoate has been dumped as Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

The move marks a split in the Democratic Party, which is headed by Sir Terepai with his place as Deputy Prime Minister being taken by another party member, Robert Wigmore.

But other Democratic members of Cabinet, including Internal Affairs Minister Ngamau Munakoa, are expected to resign this afternoon.

The Democratic Party says the Prime Minister Jim Marurai has put the country in a state of disarray by sacking Sir Terepai, a move it claims in a media release had little support in Parliament.

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